The End of Sports Illustrated

You would have thought that a business that relied upon sports, plus an occasional splash of beautiful women in bikinis, would be bullet-proof. And you’d be wrong:

Much of the staff of Sports Illustrated, and possibly all remaining writers and editors, received layoff notices Friday, which essentially could spell the end of a publication that for decades was the gold standard of sports journalism.

The union of the staff tweeted Friday that it would continue to fight for the publication of the magazine but that its future is now in the hands of the magazine’s owner, Authentic Brands Group.

ABG has owned the magazine since 2019 and sold the publishing rights to a company called the Arena Group. The Arena Group missed a recent payment for those publishing rights, prompting ABG to pull the publishing license and putting the future of Sports Illustrated in jeopardy.

“As a result of this license revocation, we will be laying off staff that work on the SI brand,” the note to staff read, adding that some employees would be terminated immediately, while others would work through the end of a 90-day notice period.

Sports Illustrated lays off most of its staff, threatening iconic brand’s future, WASHINGTON POST, 19 January 2024

Those sounds you hear in the distance are Fox executives celebrating their prescient purchase of Outkick the Coverage.

This is why we will never sell off any of our core projects. As we’ve seen with Football Outsiders and now Sports Illustrated, there is no faster way to ensure a debt-related implosion short of taking the entire payroll to Vegas and betting it on black.